Choosing the Right Aperture for High-Power Lasers 

 

Lenox Laser proves repeatedly that we are at the forefront of the evolution of laser drilling technology.  As a result, selecting the right aperture for high-power laser applications has become increasingly important. Gilbert R. Smith, a Senior Consultant for our team in Glen Arm, Maryland, years ago, brought his extensive experience to help demystify this crucial process. 

Laser Power and Energy 

Understanding how power, energy, and time interact is essential. Radiant energy is measured in joules (1 joule = 1 watt-second), while power is the rate at which energy is produced, measured in watts. 

If the energy remains the same, increasing the pulse duration decreases the power and vice versa. For example: 

  • 1 joule at 0.1 seconds = 10 watts 
  • 1 joule at 0.01 seconds = 100 watts 

This relationship helps in selecting an aperture that can handle the laser's power without overheating.   

Practical Considerations 

Ideal aperture materials would have high melting points, excellent thermal conductivity (to dissipate heat), and high reflectivity (to reflect most of the laser energy away). However, practical constraints often mean making compromises. Here’s a quick look at some materials: 

Material 

Thermal Conductivity (Cal/cm/sec/°C) 

Reflectivity (%) at 1.06 µm 

Copper 

0.918 

98 

Gold 

0.705 

98 

Silver 

1.006 

99 

Tungsten 

0.476 

- 

 

With this guide from Gilbert R. Smith, we hope the task of picking an aperture is made easier.  Please visit  https://lenoxlaser.com/optical-products/ for more information.